IT Industry Still Hiring in the Pandemic
In a series of blog posts, CompTIA Tech Career Academy explains why service-industry workers make ideal candidates for entry-level positions in information technology. In this third article, we look at the tech industry’s consistent employment stability, even during a recession.
With the number of COVID-19 cases steadily creeping back up in the United States, the economic recovery is best described as erratic.
“The recovery remains highly uncertain and highly uneven — with certain sectors and groups experiencing substantial hardship. These disparities risk holding back the recovery,” said Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard in an October speech to the Society of Professional Economists.
Industries directly affected by the pandemic recession include airlines and hotels; arts and entertainment; restaurants and bars; and private and public education.
Even industries that theoretically shouldn’t be affected by the pandemic recession are hurting, with white-collar jobs experiencing a 3.9-percent contraction — considerably worse than the 2008 recession.
And the tech industry? Still hiring, despite some setbacks
Like other sectors, the recession is affecting the tech industry too. CompTIA — the leading voice and advocate for the world’s $5-trillion information technology ecosystem — offered this analysis in October.
- The tech sector experienced a second straight month of employment growth, adding about 13,000 new workers. IT services, custom software development, tech manufacturing and information services led the growth.
- Those gains were offset by an unexpected loss of 324,000 IT-related jobs in non-tech companies ranging from banking to health care.
- While the national unemployment rate dropped to 7.9 percent, the unemployment rate for IT occupations stands at just 3.5 percent.
- While jobs postings — a good predictor of hiring activity — dropped for all sectors, some 200,000 remained active for technology roles. One of the most in-demand occupations is IT help desk or computer support specialists, with nearly 20,000 open job listings.
- Work-from-home IT jobs increased 58 percent when compared to the same period in 2019.
- Industries posting the most IT-related jobs included professional, scientific and technical services (39,014 job postings); finance and insurance (19,363); manufacturing (14,851); and information (11,616).
The recession makes it a great time to break into IT
Even during a time of economic turmoil, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that someone serving as an entry-level computer support specialist — usually on a company help desk — earns a median of $26 an hour with no previous experience.
And entry-level computer support specialist roles are expected to grow 8 percent between now and 2029 — twice the 4-percent growth expected in all other occupations.
“More support services will be needed as organizations upgrade their computer equipment and software,” the Bureau reported. “Employment growth also may come from the increasing demand for IT support services from healthcare industries. This field is expected to greatly increase its use of IT, and support services will be crucial to keep everything running properly.”
With the right training, you could enter the IT workforce
In as little as eight to 16 weeks, you could complete CompTIA Tech Career Academy training and secure the CompTIA A+ certification that opens doors to a brand new career as an entry-level computer support specialist.
You don’t need a college education or previous tech experience. In our eight years of training students for IT careers, we’ve found the most successful candidates are:
- 18 years old or older,
- A high-school graduate or someone who earned a GED,
- A citizen of the United States or someone authorized to work in the country,
- Highly motivated to commit to training,
- Able to demonstrate learning, communication and problem-solving skills, and
- Able to use a computer to navigate within a Windows environment.
In our next blog post in this series, we’ll discuss how the tech and skills that service industry workers know can readily apply to working on an IT help desk.
And throughout the publication of this blog post series, we want to hear from you. If you have a question or concern, you can email us at [email protected].
In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about switching careers, check out CompTIA's microsite on careers in IT. If you’d like to learn more about CompTIA Tech Career Academy and how our program differs from others available, click here.